Professor Mark Lewis

Professor of Fine Art

Central Saint Martins

Biography

Born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1958, Mark Lewis lives and works in London, UK. In 2009 he represented Canada at the 53rd Venice Biennale with his exhibition Cold Morning. Solo exhibitions include Le Bal (Paris, 2015), The Power Plant (Toronto, 2015), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven, 2013), Forte Di Bard (Italy, 2011), Canada House (London, 2015) and at the Musée du Louvre, (Paris, 2014). He is currently exhibiting six new films in two solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Austin Contemporary in Texas.

In 2015 Mark completed his first feature film Invention, this premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, London Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival and others world wide. It has received critical acclaim and is also being shown as part of the 2016 International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.

The Canada Council for the Arts awarded him the lifetime achievement award, The Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Fine Art, in 2016. 

His work has been included in numerous group shows such as the 31st Sao Paulo Biennial (Sao Paulo), Real DMZ Project (Seoul), Beirut Art Centre (Beirut), Marcelle Alix Gallery (Paris), Serralves Museu de Arte Contemporanea (Porto) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Ontario.)

Research Interests

The Moving Image
Cinematic portrayal of everyday life
Art History

Research statement

My film and digital moving image works are often depictions of everyday life and they make subtle and sometimes accidental allusion to the wider tradition of photography and painting.

Recent films like City Hall (2015), Pavilion (2015) and Above and Below the Minhocao (2012) make direct reference to the pictorial exploration of the everyday, through the use of cinematographic techniques. In my film In search of the Blessed Ranieri (2015) the interaction between the museum space, museum visitors and the cinematic camera becomes a collaborative exercise for observation and composition making.

My recent feature film Invention imagines a contemporary city with no cinema or moving image devices (no smartphones, no TV, no internet etc.). In this scenario, the city itself is the cinema, focussing on the intense concentration of moving bodies, shadows and reflections.

I have recently completed an anthology of six new films entitled Canada as part of two simultaneous solo exhibitions in 2017. The films are currently being exhibited in Toronto, from April 2017, at the Art Gallery of Ontario and in The Contemporary Austin, Texas, running through September 2017. The Dreams of Canada explores Canada as a floating, unsettled signifier, a name that through its mutability, both distances and affirms goodness and evil. Through national, historic and contemporary narratives my aim is to explore the dream to which Canada refers to.

Research Grants & Awards

2016 - Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts, awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

2017 - The Rauschenberg Residency in Florida.

Selected research outputs